Wednesday, November 30, 2016

What the Fuck, Abdul Razak Ali Artan?

A man named Abdul Razak Ali Artan crashed his car into a crowd of people on the Ohio State University campus and then lashed out with a knife stabbing people until he was shot by police. Artan was known as mild mannered, soft-spoken, and thoughtful. Artan was interviewed earlier in the school year by the OSU student newspaper. Artan was concerned that there wasn't a place on campus for him to pray. He was afraid to pray in the open, afraid he would get shot. He was aware of the world and frustrated by the way it worked, but showed no signs of violence or fundamentalism, only signs of a man looking for a home for his faith. He was concerned about Trump becoming president. 

Now we've proved that anyone can be president. You don't have to be good or a politician or know anything about American history or government. You don't have to like women or be a Christian. You don't have to like "retarded" people or old people. You don't have to go to college or know about making policy. You don't have to be kind. You don't have to try to say nice things. You don't have to believe in God. You don't have to get the most votes. 

Anyone can be president. 

Maybe in four years we should all run. Who would win if millions of people ran for president? Who would win if it was an open market? Maybe if Abdul Razak Ali Artan could have found a safe place to pray he would have found a healthier way to channel his anger and frustration, he could have been a change maker and then become president in 16 years -- probably not, but just maybe.

Remember democracy? That's gone. Remember capitalism? That's gone. Do you know how lost we are? Can you find us on the map? I do not accept this election. I do not accept the candidates or the result. This was a shitshow. The whole thing felt like a badly staged joke. 

I have a light. I have hope. I hold it close and feed it every day.  I have a voice. I give a shit. 

I won't leave this country. I will stay right here. I am your witness. I am your recorder. I am your hope holder. You belong here. So do I. All of us. Trump and Hillary. Artan too. How do we do this now? 

Not that long ago I would have been burnt at the stake or drowned to see if I could float or hanged. I am a heretic, a witch, a hag, a woman who believes in herbs and tinctures and prayer and yoga and the power of women communing. I believe in congregation. I believe in witnessing. I believe in safe spaces for prayer. I believe in safe spaces for education. 

Like all of you, I am trying to figure out just what the fuck is going on. 

What the fuck? 

Today I don't have any answers. Today I have only questions.